🚥 The latest corona stats for Berlin (tallied Wednesday, 16 December)
New cases in one day: 1,283 (1,129 Tuesday)
Total number of corona deaths: 928 (+29 over Tuesday)
🟢 R number: 0.89 (0.94 Tuesday)
🔴 New infections per week: 197.3/ 100,000 inhabitants (200.6 Tuesday)
Source: Berlin's coronavirus status page
We're going to need a longer lockdown
The head of the association of public insurance doctors, Andreas Gassen, said the current lockdown will have little effect on the numbers of infected or deaths by 10 January. The lockdown itself is useless, newswire dpa quoted him as saying. Instead, we should be better protecting at-risk populations and relying on subsidised taxis and increased capacity in public transport to avoid crowding. The German head of the World Medical Association agrees, sort of. He told the Funke Mediengruppe newswire recently that the lockdown will have to be extended well beyond 10 January because the key figure of 50 new cases per week per 100,000 people can only be reached through a lockdown through the end of January.
Brandenburg asking for help
The state that entirely surrounds Berlin has asked the capital to take on 50 less serious Covid-19 patients at the yet-to-be-opened emergency corona hospital at the convention centre in Charlottenburg, Brandenburg health minister Ursula Nonnemacher (Grüne) said in the state parliament. Brandenburg is also asking neighbouring Saxony-Anhalt. It would ask Saxony but that state is already also struggling (they're considering cutting off certain areas with infection rates of 600 per week per 100,000 and only letting people out of their homes at specific times).
No, there won't be a Berlin curfew
News programme Tagesschau, part of the public broadcasting apparatus that wants to raise its mandatory fee during the pandemic, Wednesday erroneously reported that Berlin politicians would institute a 9pm to 5am curfew this week. Nonsense, government spokesperson Melanie Reinsch said.
The Berlinale too
The Berlinale film fest has now been delayed to March from February and will be strictly online.
In case you missed it...
A handful of university students and at least one Lebanese immigrant in Berlin have launched a charity to get material donations to Lebanon, and hopefully around the world.
That's all for now, folks. Stay safe!
The Berliner Zeitung English team